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Questions about Blizzard Magnum 8.0 vs 8.5 and Head i.Titan

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 



I am a new member to the forum, I hope I could get some advice on a couple of questions.


I am 6"1 and weigh 200 lbs (185 cm 90 kg). I have only one pair of skis, 2011 Head i.Titan in 177 cm, these skis have been on the snow for about 80 days. I am an okay skier.


I have recently tested two pairs of Blizzard Magnum skis (8.0 in 172 cm and 8.5 in 181 cm), and the experience was so different that it triggered a few questions.



1. Both Magnum skis have incredible edge grip. I always ski on the same mountain, and I know these several places with icy hardpack where my Titan would have no grip at all. Nada. Both Magnums had no problem with grip there whatsoever, also when I put considerable pressure on them. I thought maybe something was wrong with my Titan's tuning, maybe they got dull and I just don't have the right expectation any longer, so I brought my Titans to the shop the same night and asked to tune them.


Next day on Titans - again, they just don't hold the edge on hardpack at all. As if I have rollers instead of edges. Nothing changed after tune.


This raised several questions:

1. Is it possible that these Blizzards are just supposed to hold edge much, much better than Titans?

2. Or maybe there's some problem with my particular pair of Titans, like I don't know, the fatigue, or just 80 days is too much for them, or some factory defect, that doesn't let them hold edge even immediately after the edges were sharpened?

3. Or maybe the Titans in 177 cm are not designed for my parameters? Maybe I'm the wrong weight for them?


The difference was really like night and day, I could not imagine that different skis could ski so differently...


2. Talking about these two pairs of Magnums:

- With the 8.0 in 172 cm, I felt very confident and playful but at the same time I felt that I could rather easily overpower them. I felt very powerful response and great maneuvrability, but I felt I was stronger than the ski. Maybe they were a little softer that I need given my weight.


With the 8.5 in 181 cm, I felt that's a different ski. Of course I exercised some caution, but I could not overpower them at all. I felt great response, and as much as I was putting in, the ski was giving me back. I also felt that I must not be lazy with these skis, and I need to load them properly to get what I want (while with the 8.0, even with lazy effort I was able to load them up).


[Just for comparison, with my Titans I don't feel any response at all. I mean yes I can load them up but I hardly feel any rebound or the spring compared to both these Blizzards... Seems like the Titans are just "dead" or lost their energy, if this can happen to the ski at all of course... I also remember that when Titans were new, I had to "press" with at least some force when I step into the binding to make them flat on the snow. Now I just touch them, maybe 50g effort with the toe of my boot, and they're flat already...]


At the same time, I'm a bit concerned about the length of 181 cm as 60% of my skiing is bumps, and there's also some trees and limited-space areas in the remaining 40%.


I felt that I had to work harder with 8.5 in 181 cm than with 8.0 in 172 cm, and sometimes I was slower in turning that I would want. I think this is rather a limitation of my ability than of the ski maneuvrability, but still I felt that maybe that ski is at this point just a bit too long for me.


So I want to explore two more options "in between", 8.0 in 179 cm and 8.5 in 174 cm.

My question is, which of these two would be closer to the "middle" between 8.0/172 and 8.5/181?

If I thought of "ideal" scenario based on the two skis I demoed, I think I would choose something like "8.2 and 176 cm" in ideal world :-)


Thank you!

Edited by skii - 1/27/13 at 2:24pm
post #2 of 15
Thread Starter 



On Titans:

Re-read the Internet and discussed with friends. Came to conclusion that my i.Titans simply have had their time, thinking of deteriorated edge grip and softness/lack of rebound as the signs of wear.


On Blizzard 8.0@179 vs 8.5@174:

Found and read this review: http://www.dawgcatching.com/blog/ski/video-review-2013-blizzard-magnum-8-5ti-and-magnum-8-0ti

Then found out that 8.5@174 were completely out of stock. So went for 8.0@179.

My gut feeling was anyway like "I SHOULD buy 8.5@174, but I WILL enjoy 8.0@179 more". So maybe that's just a self-fulfilling prophecy :)


Hope to get at least 150 days out of them!

post #3 of 15

Hi Welcome to epicski!  Not sure how this was missed, but........


the 8.0 is really a fantastic ski.  You really could have gotten either of these skis and be happy.  This one will surely put a smile on your face!


Please report back when you get on therm. 

post #4 of 15

The Titan is a very grippy ski, at least as much as the 8.0, if not more.  But, with that said, 80 days is a lot.  A friend has a pair of Mx98's I was skiing recently, he is on his 4th season of them, skiing a lot, and they just didn't hold on hard snow.  Same thing you describe. Skis break down over time, they become softer, and in soft snow or in powder, they still get the job done.  Ice is most demanding, and is where you are going to see wear earliest. Some brands will break down after 30-40 days on the hill, but if you got 80 full days on the iTitans, you did pretty well. 


Keep them around as a bump ski! 

post #5 of 15

Not criticising your skiing at all Skii but wouldn't the Titan with it's smaller length and waist but much wider tip and tails than the two Blizzards (i.e Titan's 14m sidecut is quite tight for a 177cm ski) be harder to hold an edge on ice anyway? I mean you would have to bend it more for a start to engage the whole lot without slipping or at least have more angulation to set the whole edge in the bend and it's harder to hold a whole edge powerfully on ice with a more curvy but still stiff ski. Even when it does grip it's still going to try and turn at that radius anyway.

I certainly wouldn't classify it as a soft ski with lack of rebound either? Whether you believe in KERs or not, end of turn rebound is one of that ski's good points. 

If it did provide that initially for you and doesn't now then that's your answer, it's dead.

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

Trekchick, thank you very much, sure I'll share when I get on them.


dawgcatching, thank you very much. when I rethink my question I figure that it could be reduced to: "Can Titans have a useful service life of 80 days?" Thank you for sharing! Your response makes total sense to me. However now I'm curious which brands I should avoid to prevent replacing my skis every 30 to 40 days :-)


snala, thank you very much.


I probably don't have enough hands-on experience with different skis to know how to guess whether Titans should hold edge better or worse than Blizzards.


My general thoughts when I was going to test Blizzards were "okay my Titans are more a frontside ski while Blizzards are more all-mountain", so if anything I expected that I would feel better on Blizzards somewhere on the backside, but that I would be happier with Titans on the groomers. In fact I had no intention to replace my Titans, it was just curiosity.


In reality the only striking difference was on hardpack/ice, and it was not in favor of my pair of Titans, and that surprised me, and so I wrote that post :) As far as places like moguls were concerned -- I didn't feel too much of a difference, although I did feel much more confident with Blizzards after they showed me how much more I could trust them on hardpack. As the result, I trusted them more, and I had more fun.


I can't really remember much of experience from 80 days ago. I guess Titans were different, at least I did not have any complaints at that time.

But then my skiing also might have evolved, so I don't know if it's possible to compare accurately at all.


In any event, I am not trying to compare Magnums with Titans or Blizzard with Head in general. I had happy time with these Titans, I respect them and I work with them.


I only compared my feelings on one pair of my old skis and two new pairs of skis that I tested, and got curious.


But yes I don't feel nearly as much energy from my old Titans compared to those Blizzards that I tested. It's like night and day, and same goes for the grip on icy hardpack.


If I wasn't on the same hill I know quite well (like if I tested Blizzard somewhere on vacation) I think I would have hard time believing it's the skis, and I would just think that the conditions were different. Only because I knew the conditions were the same, I could believe the difference.


So based on all observations here I tend to think that it's because the Titans are just worn out.


Thank you!

post #7 of 15

A couple more points.  I think that you made a great choice by going with the 8.0 in a 179.  It will be perfect for your height and weight.  The Head by design is a quieter, more damped ski, so it will not have the energy/ liveliness that you feel in the Blizzards.  They are just different animals.  I always figure that you should be able to get 100 days out of a ski.  There is some breakdown, but it takes a while for the performance to tail off significantly.  Maybe you were getting to the end of the useful life of the Head, but I'd wager that a.) technology has marched on and new skis are just that much better than the old skis and b). the shop tune job might have just been a quick pass over the belt/stone that really wasn't going to bring the Heads back to like new condition.  Anyway, you got 80 days out of the Heads, you don't owe them anything.  Enjoy the new boards.

post #8 of 15

IMH experience, the 177 and 170 Titan are like two very different skis. The 177 doesn't seem at all as lively and fun as the 170.

post #9 of 15
Did you get the Magnum 8.0ti or 8.0ca ?
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks to everyone for the comments!



I ordered 8.0 TI in 179 cm with suspension, IQ and Power 12 binding (8A2032 D3 001 - MAGNUM 8.0 TI SPN/IQ-PWR 12)
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 


I would like to follow up on this topic now that I've skied the new Blizzards for a few days.


Below are my subjective observations.


First of all I should say that this is not a comparison of Head i.Titan with Blizzard Magnum -- because my Heads are very old, while Blizzard are brand new.


It is a comparison of my specific two pairs of skis - 2011 i.Titan 177 cm (129-79-115, radius 14.7) with 80 days on them and 2013 Blizzard Magnum 8.0 TI 179 cm (122-80-107, radius 18.0), brand new.


Blizzard is MUCH stiffer and stronger.

By stiffer I mean both longitudinal and torsional stiffness, they are just a different class.

This actually helps me improve my skiing: I found Blizzards to be much less forgiving and much sharper in their feedback in one-foot skiing.

Also, despite the difference of only 1 mm in the waist, Blizzards are noticeably more difficult to put on edge.

I would say that generally I get more feedback from Blizzards.


By stronger I mean that they are made from stronger material, especially edge material.

Blizzard claims it is Titanium, I read on the Internet that it could be  aviation-grade aluminum alloy, I have no idea what that is and I don't want to argue, but:

- Edges are much sharper and friction on ice is incredibly better with Blizzard than with Titan.

- I had an episode when I caught a rock and skied over it from the center of my ski through the edge.

On Titans, I would always damage the edge like that. I had several such occasions and edge always needed some treatment.


Blizzards just CUT the rock. Meaning, that when I looked at the ski, I saw how the rock engaged in the middle of the base, then there's deeper and deeper path towards the edge - and then absolutely untouched edge and a piece of rock CUT AND STUCK in the base against the edge. The edge itself seemed intact.


I never saw anything like that before; maybe I just don't ski on rocks enough but in my limited experience:

- rock was always stronger than Titans,

- but Blizzards were stronger than this one rock so far.


As far as backside skiing is concerned, I did not feel much of a difference, again geometry is pretty similar.


But on frontside skiing, to my surprise (but consistent with the demo that I had before), I liked Blizzard much more. I charge it more, I get more rebound and more energy back, and more importantly I can trust these skis more so for example I can ski phase 1 of the turn more aggressively in challenging/icy conditions where on Titans I was always concerned they would slip and I would fall over, so I was too cautious and this limited me.


On Blizzards I feel more relaxed and ski more confidently.


Of course I recognize that Titans have shorter turn radius and when grip is okay, they are fun in this respect, but unfortunately hard to trust as soon as the grip is suboptimal.


Also, i should say that Blizzard Magnum 8.0 172 and 179 seemed to me quite different.

172 is very maneuvrable and light, but easy to overpower, I think that would be my preferred ski in the trees and maybe moguls.

179 much more powerful, energetic but less maneuvrable, I think that would be my preferred ski on the steeps and for high-speed carving.

But generally I guess I would be happy with both.


And one more interesting observation. With Titans, if you get longer ski then the dimensions increase somewhat proportionally (e. g. Titan 177 is wider than Titan 170).

With Blizzard 8.0 - both 172 and 179 are exactly 80 mm in waist.



I will still keep the Titans as rock ski, backup and maybe something to work on my balance on the ice :-)


I hope someone finds this helpful, although again this is not a very fair comparison as it's an old ski against a new ski.

Edited by skii - 3/27/13 at 7:02pm
post #12 of 15

It's Titanal... a trade name for an AL alloy made in Austria by... I can't remember the name of the company.

post #13 of 15

Now that you have your new skis there's no risk in what I'm suggesting.  Move the bindings on the Titans forward 10mm (or possibly 20mm).  The binding plate on your Titans makes this exercise very simple.  What I don't know is how many sets of holes you have available (from the picture you posted I would say you have at least another set available if not two).


Moving the bindings forward will most definitely change your perception of the edge grip for the Titans.  Try 10mm first and if that doesn't get you "all the way there" then try 20mm if you have the second set of further forward holes.

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 

It is very interesting that you suggest that!


I recall that some time before buying the Blizzards, someone asked me about my impression about Titans, and I said among other things that I felt that tips were a bit too long and flimsy (or unstable? can't find the right word) to my taste and probably I feel like I'm standing a little bit backwards (meaning, the position of bindings relative to tips and tails of the skis), too close to tails so i have to do extra work rotating the tips while I don't feel the tails enough, as if the bindings at non-optimal point of the "lever". Don't know how to explain this feeling better.


But then I can imagine that Titans are just designed to be that way, maybe that's exactly how they should feel and maybe I'm saying complete nonsense now :-)


I know very little about how different skis should feel as I just ski on what I have.

post #15 of 15

Hi Mark, How tall are you and how much do you weigh? I am demoing the 8.5 in Vail tomorrow.

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